One school of thought suggests that adhering to a stronger conservative position benefits the Republican party. Another says that the best way to appeal to crucial middle-of-the-road voters is to adopt a middle-of-the-road position on the issues. This article contends that the tea party efforts on behalf of the first viewpoint have damaged the Republican “brand,” hurt Romney’s chances and strengthened Obama’s position.
Let me just add that the last two presidential candidates to take relatively pure ideological positions (Goldwater and McGovern) failed badly. I suppose the results in 2010, while not a Presidential election, could be cited as a counter-example. Your thoughts?